This recipe for Instant Pot Dal is so easy! This is the perfect healthy vegetarian and vegan meal that can be made in just 30 minutes. Serve your red lentil stew with steamed rice for a hearty meal.

two bowls of instant pot dal with fresh lemon and cilantro

You aren’t going to believe how easy and fast it is to make dal in the Instant Pot pressure cooker. Dal is an Indian lentil stew that is usually made with vegetables and spices.

Lentils in general are a very healthy food. Most lentils do not need to be soaked before cooking, so they are also very convenient and easy to cook. This particular recipe uses red lentils which are a very delicate type. See my other post for how to make Instant Pot Brown Lentils.

For this Instant Pot Dal recipe, you just have to cook the lentils with some chopped onion, tomatoes, spices, broth, and coconut milk. The result is a creamy, flavorful soup that you can eat right out of the pot.

labeled photo with ingredients for instant pot dal

Recipe Steps

Step One

The only real work you need to do for this Instant Pot Dal is to chop a half and onion and a tomato, and rinse your lentils. Combine all of your ingredients in the Instant Pot (see the recipe card at the end of this post for the full recipe).

Step Two

Lock on the lid and set the time to 5 minutes on high pressure. You need to allow about 10 minutes for the pressure cooker to come up to pressure.

Step Three

Once the cooking time is up, let the pressure come down naturally for about 5 minutes. Then, use an oven mitt to remove the lid and then stir the dal.

instant pot cooked red lentil dal

Step Four

Use a serving spoon or ladle to serve the soup in smaller bowls. You can serve the soup with Indian Yellow Rice, Instant Pot Basmati Rice, or Instant Pot Coconut Rice, and top with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lemon, if you like.

bowl of instant pot red lentil dal with fresh cilantro on top

FAQs

Can I use yellow lentils for this recipe?

Yes, you can use red or yellow lentils.

Can I use full-fat coconut milk for this recipe?

Yes, you can!

Can I use cream in this recipe instead of coconut milk?

Yes, but then your recipe won’t be dairy-free or vegan.

Other Easy Instant Pot Soup Recipes

bowl of red lentil soup

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Instant Pot Red Lentil Dal

instant pot red lentil dal served in two bowls

This recipe for Instant Pot Dal is so easy! This is the perfect healthy vegetarian and vegan meal that can be made in just 30 minutes. Serve your red lentil stew with steamed rice for a hearty meal.

  • Author: Carrie Forrest, MPH in Nutrition
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Diet: Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup light canned coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala*
  • chopped fresh cilantro (optional, for topping)
  • fresh lemon (optional, for topping)

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a 6-quart or 8-quart Instant Pot, combine the rinsed lentils, vegetable broth, coconut milk, onions, tomatoes, coriander seeds, curry powder, and garam masala. Stir to combine.
  2. Lock on the lid and set the time to 5 minutes at high pressure.
  3. When the cooking time is complete, let the pressure come down naturally for about 5 minutes. Then, use the quick-release to get rid of the remaining pressure.
  4. Carefully remove the lid, stir the soup, and serve hot.
  5. Top with chopped cilantro leaves and a squeeze of fresh lemon, if desired. 

Notes

  1. *If you do not have garam masala, you can substitute ground cumin instead.
  2. Store any leftovers in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Re-heat before serving.

Keywords: instant pot red lentil soup, vegan red lentil dal, instant pot indian lentils

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